By Team Jaya He Museum and Jaya He Museum Store, CSIA I Guest Post for COPPRE

In 2009, Sanjay Reddy, Vice-Chairman of GVK Power & Infrastructure Limited, articulated his vision for T2 the International Terminal at Mumbai Airport (CSIA): an airport that can compete with any global equivalent but retains a distinct sense of place and identity, an airport that celebrates India.

Jaya He, GVK New Museum at T2 is born of this vision, a landmark corporate initiative to safeguard an immense cultural resource from being lost for posterity.

Jaya He Museum Store was conceived out of the necessity and passion for providing a platform to the artisans who associated with us for an art program and how to make their work accessible to the public at large, and also provide them a consistent source of revenue.

Mr Rajeev Sethi, one of South Asia’s leading curators and scenographers, has translated this vision into an unprecedented interdisciplinary platform of original art treasures from various regions of the country, commissioned works by master craftspeople as well as artists and designers exploring contemporary visual language.

Arguably India’s largest public artwork project to date, Jaya He is a unique platform where these objects and the skills of artisans working in traditional idioms are given contemporary relevance. The Museum store promotes products handmade by Indian artisans only. For the discerning international traveler its a boon to collect some of the #makeinindia last minute souvenirs. Some return to order larger numbers.

Jaya He as an organisation believe in responsible gifting. While the focus on #makeinindia drives the market, we believe that our inherent cultural heritage needs to be promoted and preserved. The Mumbai Airport (CSIA) hosted the Trinity Forum in 2016 and they decided to pick up hand beaten copper T-lights from Jaya He for the gifting to the delegates made by #Coppre.

Market demand in the gifting industry for handmade products has risen exponentially in the last few years. We do get a lot of enquiries from Corporates moving to handcrafted goods for gifting. This not only provides scale and reach to the craftspeople but also drives them to refrain from mediocrity imposed because of economic pressures. Corporate gifting is a reflection of the values that the organization stands for and that cannot be achieved by using machine made products. A sizeable number of business travellers visit our shop who later come back to reorder.

Today there are designers and organisations which are associated with certain crafts and are giving them a face-lift by working with the people at the grass root level and also by sincere design interventions. eg the efforts taken by #Coppre by working directly with the metal working artisans. Designer Atul Johri who has worked with the Channapatnam lacquer community and has broadened their creativity by creating utility based items using the lacquer technique which earlier was limited to toys. Another designer working with Tanjore painting is designer N.Ramachandran. He has used his contemporary sensibilities without compromising the original art form and designed an exclusive range with Jaya He.

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